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τὰς Ἀθήνας. The lower town, the Acropolis having been burnt down in 480 B. C. (viii. 53. 2). There is some exaggeration in the complete destruction described; some few houses and parts of the wall (Thuc. i. 89), and possibly the old temples of the Dioscuri and Dionysus (Paus. i. 18. 1, 20. 2), remained.
κατὰ στεινόν. Either (1) by the long and narrow defile through Mount Cithaeron, starting from Eleutherae and passing through Dryoscephalae (ch. 39. 1 n.), or (2) by the even more difficult path across Mount Parnes by Phyle and Panactum, or (3) by the circuitous route followed by Mardonius according to H. (ch. 15). The Peloponnesians might cross Cithaeron direct from Megara either along the coast by Pegae and Aegosthena, or by the Vilia pass near Plataea, and so cut Mardonius' connexion with Thebes.
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